With only a few days to spend in San Diego, a priority was a visit to the San Diego Zoo! I had heard so much about how wonderful the zoo was and believe me it certainly lived up to its reputation! The San Diego Zoo covers 99 acres of beautiful flora which houses over 3,700 animals and 650 species, many in cageless exhibits that recreate natural habitats. We arrived at 10 a.m. and spent over 5 hours exploring the exhibits, making new friends, and learning a lot. We witnessed everything from llamas to polar bears and from zebras to crocodiles; from koalas to black bears and from really unusual monkeys to a river cat and a cheetah feasting on a fresh carcass!
With regard to blogging, there truly are times when pictures do speak louder than words, and our visit to the zoo just might be one of those times. Not only did we easily reach our daily step quota, but Bill perfected his map reading skills and we communed with amazing animals, many of which I never knew existed. Sharing some of our newly acquired animal facts…
Did you know…
- A giraffe’s tongue is the length of a small child’s arm – about 16 inches?
- For a kangaroo, hopping uses less energy than running? Hopping speed is about 25 mph.
- Cheetahs sometimes chirp like a bird or purr, snarl and growl – but they never roar? Cheetahs reach 70 mph when chasing their prey.
- Meerkats take turns being the lookout for predators while the others eat, play , or sun?
- People illegally hunt the endangered Chacoan Peccary for food? Yuck!
- African elephants have large ears that are the shape of Africa, while Asian elephants’ ears are much smaller?
- The Komodo Dragon will eat ANY animal – from insects to water buffalo weighing a half-ton? How can that be?
- King Cobra often reach 12 feet and predominantly eat other snakes and lizards?
- An adult Green Anaconda can swallow a whole deer?
- A Panda’s fur is actually very coarse and thick? The soft and fluffy Pandas are usually stuffed and in the gift shop!
- A condor’s wingspan can be as long as 10 feet?
And from my English teacher heart, we usually assume that a bunch of birds is called a flock, but depending on the species, you may have –
- a bouquet of pheasants
- a descent of woodpeckers
- a herd of cranes; and
- a host of sparrows
Bill and I thoroughly enjoyed our day at the San Diego Zoo and over dinner we were sharing our favorite animal. Although I really liked them all, I was mesmerized by the condor, always am in awe of the lions, and the flamingos make me smile. Bill felt an affinity with the giraffes and of course he found a place in his heart for Karen, the orangutan! All in all, it was a wonderful day at the zoo!
Stay Calm and Travel On…